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Respiratory Care (0366)

Physical Requirements

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that careful consideration be given to all applicants seeking education or employment. The act also requires that accommodations be provided to the disabled person when proven to be reasonable. The act also supports the identification of essential job functions that may be used in conjunction with other selection criteria in the screening of potential applicants for a professional curriculum or employment.

The Respiratory Care Professional (RCP) is a care giver with the responsibility of providing life supporting therapies and diagnostic services. Implied in this care giving role are essential job functions that require the RCP to demonstrate certain cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills. The performance of these job functions must be consistent with the expectation that the RCP must not place himself / herself, a fellow worker, or the patient in jeopardy because of physical or mental disabilities.

The purpose of the following is to identify the essential functional requirements of the RCP in the categories of visual acuity, hearing, physical ability, speech, manual dexterity, and mental stress. The examples below are not all inclusive and additional disabilities that prove to prevent the performance of the RCP essential job functions may be considered on a case by case basis.

Visual Acuity

Accommodation: Corrective lenses

  1. Distinguish scalar markings on instruments calibrated in increments of 0.1mm
  2. Identify visually the color and pulsatile differences between venous and arterial blood samples collected by syringe.
  3. Visually identify positions of analog controls and digital displays on medical equipment in low light conditions.
  4. Identify the correct placement of artificial airways during direct laryngoscopy.
  5. Identify and distinguish visually between normal and alarm status indicators on medical devices.

Hearing Acuity

Accommodation: Auditory aids

  1. Indirect measurement of blood pressure with a stethoscope.
  2. Ability to distinguish between normal and abnormal breath sounds, adventitious sounds, percussion tones, and heart sounds during chest auscultation.
  3. Identify and distinguish between audible signals on medical devices that identify their functionality or indicate alarm status.

Physical Ability

Accommodation: Minimal impairment of extremities and lower back.

  1. Ability to use equipment including but not limited to the following: flowmeters, mechanical ventilators, large and small medical gas cylinders, and diagnostic devices.
  2. Position patients for postural drainage, and for patient transport by bed, wheelchair, or stretcher.
  3. Provide CPR and other emergency life support services provided by Respiratory Therapists in a safe and timely manner.

Speech Ability

Accommodation: None known

  1. To be able to interview patients and ask questions about the patient’s condition, history, effects of treatment, or current level of symptoms.
  2. To communicate information verbally to others in an appropriate and timely fashion.

Manual Dexterity

Accommodation: Must perform fine motor tasks.

  1. Must be able to identify by touch the arterial pulse, tactile fremitus, sub-cutaneous emphysema and other conditions.
  2. To adjust fine incremental controls using dials or touch pads.
  3. Manipulation of precision instruments such as microscopes, bronchoscopes, and other instruments.

Mental Stress

Accommodation: None known.

  1. Performs without hesitation and with coordinated control, all elements of the RCP’s scope of practice during times of mental stress.
  2. Displays principles of patient care consistent with the community standard.
  3. Responds positively to correction and modifies behavior as required.
Responsible Department: Health Sciences - Respiratory Care
Program Contact: Bill Thomas
Content Contact: Anthony Williams (web representative)
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